From the Labouchere school of seamanship

The Labouchere - Paddle Steamer

Labouchere entered service with the Hudson's Bay Company under Captain J. Trivett. London was her home port. Before the end of the decade, however, she had come out to California, presumably lured by the expansion of commerce on the Pacific Coast in the wake of the Gold Rush. In late 1865 or early 1866, she commenced running between Victoria, British Columbia, and San Francisco.

Her second voyage on that run ended in disaster. Under the command of W. A. Mouat, she stood away from the Howard Street Wharf at 6:00 p.m. April 14, 1866, with approximately 100 passengers and a full load of general cargo on board consigned to Falkner, Bell & Co. In calm but foggy weather, she proceeded north at nine knots until Point Reyes was sighted without warning, only seconds ahead, "the abrupt rocky shore towering threatening above them, while the breakers roared around them." The location was stated to be "at almost the exact point at which occurred the disastrous wrecks of the Oregon and Northerner some years since." Labouchere "backed off the reef into deep water, and the engines were put under full steam in order to keep the pumps--four in number--running.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, the steamer was not headed back for San Francisco, but continued to run around in the open water outside Point Reyes all night, the damage being, at first supposed, so slight, as to not necessitate the abandonment of the trip." However, early on the morning of the 15th, a new leak was reported and water began to gain rapidly on the pumps. Capt. Mouat now ordered the boats launched and the passengers taken ashore--some eight miles distant. A number of "toughs" on board attempted to rush the boats, but were stopped by a shot form the captain's revolver. Eight boats were launched, but one was upset by the ship's gangway and two men drowned. Fortunately for the 23 men still on board the Italian fishing smack Andrew now came into sight and took all hands off just before Labouchere made her final plunge. All survivors in the boats made it to shore and were picked up by the Rescue.


(Verrills, just don't get clever. We learn by our mistakes.)

The Alaskan (Sitka, AK), November 27, 1886: THE PIONEERS OF ALASKA - CAPT. JAS. W. KEEN - THE PERILOUS SITUATION OF THE STEAMER LABOUCHERE.- The mighty race of hunters and explorers who traveled the vast depths of the trackless wilds of the western territories are rapidly passing away. Their days of boundless energy are forever gone; and smiling gardens, illimitable cornfields, now cover the grounds over which they hunted the wild beasts and outwitted and fought with the wily savages of the plain. The wonderful adventures and hairbreadth escapes of these hardy men are now to be met with only in books; and it seems like reading selections from Homer's Iliad when we take up such a work as Washington Irving's Astoria, wherein are pictured such wanderings over flood and field, that the Iliad is tame in comparison.